Archive for the 'let’s eating!' Category

Ronin dislikes food, loves cookies

Friday, March 20th, 2009

I think I can safely say there has been a major breakthrough on the sleeping front hereabouts. No, she does not sleep through the night (wakes usually twice to be fed) BUT she goes to sleep with minimal work on our part and after she is down, she usually does not need us to go in periodically and get her back to sleep. She just sleeps until she wakes up. To nurse (sigh). But still, this is seriously heaven. She is also going longer on her first sleep cycle and hopefully the trend will continue until she sleeps the entire night. Sounds brilliant right? Of course that means that if things continue at the pace they have gone since birth, she’ll be three years old before that happens.

Still, things are looking up immensely. I haven’t yet recovered from the year of broken sleep; I find myself waking after only four hours and unable to fall back asleep until she starts squawking for milk. Then of course it takes me ages to fall back asleep after I nurse her so unfortunately I have only been getting marginally more sleep than I had been getting. Presumably I’ll be able to sleep eight hours in a row again.

I with I could say there were similar breakthroughs in her eating habits but I will say that tonight I almost was worried because she actually DID eat. We’re talking: four slices of sauteed zucchini (minus the rinds), three slices of cheese more or less (less = what ended up on the floor), around a tablespoonful of leftover Indian food, a jar of baby food approximately (dolled up with ranch dressing of course), and three slices of orange. Seriously, she NEVER eats so much. I was astounded. Her belly actually felt full afterward. I don’t know what got into her.

I have had half a mind to film our little eating sessions because they are so sad and depressing generally but I haven’t gotten around to it. So here’s a little rundown of the typical scenario. It’ll be noon and she’ll have only eaten two spoonfuls of yogurt since she awoke (not counting nursing). I’ll announce in a faux-excited voice that it is Time To Eat Yay Food Oh Boy and pick her up to put her in the highchair. Immediately she’ll begin to cry piteously, struggling and arching her back. It takes me some doing to get her fastened in the chair and the tray attached and by this time she has tears running down her cheeks and is rubbing her head with both hands (she does this when she is upset or very tired) and just completely fallen apart. I always feel awful but feeding her anything but cheerios and dried fruit is not possible when not in any sort of restraining contraption. So I put her in the chair. Now that she’s stuck, I dance around with food options: Cheese?! Nana!? I start to put stuff on her tray and she either smashes it with her hand or swipes it off. Since I totally don’t have a problem picking food up off the floor and feeding it to my child, I replace it and hope for a second (and third, and fourth) try. I make faces and bounce around and act like every single piece of egg or macaroni or banana or cracker is the abso-fucking-lutely BEST thing that EVER existed in the ENTIRE planet. I give her my undivided attention and cheer her on every time she even hints at making a move toward her mouth. I eat my own sympathetic lunch, hoping to inspire, offering her bites of whatever it is I’m eating (rejected, typically, unless it’s the last bite and then she’ll eat it with gusto and cry out for more). I try ignoring her and washing dishes instead, sneaking peeks in hopes that she’ll have finally focused on what is in front of her and taste something already. I fix her a shocking array of different things and put them on her tray one at a time in hopes that she’ll find something that doesn’t offend.

Eventually a shred of food makes it into her mouth and she realizes that maybe it’s not the worst fate there ever was just to eat a a little bit after all. Provided it is not green. Or nutritious. And preferably it has sugar as a primary ingredient. It’s really quite sad; she will happily eat pieces of cookie until the cows come in but treats anything vegetable with outright suspicion. Our latest trick has been to put dollops of ranch dressing on whatever it is we want her to eat. She will lick it off and we can only hope a molecule of the good stuff is ingested. Anyway ranch dressing has wee flecks of green so she’s getting some vegetables at least.

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Ronin signifies that the “meal” has ended typically with an abrupt return to her former crabbiness. To be sure I understand that she is finito with all the stuff on her tray, of which she has usually only eaten a small fraction, she systematically swipes the remains onto the floor and begins to rub her (ranch dressing/Toby’s tofu pate/chorizo-covered) hands into her hair while whining and crying. I remove her from the Chair, wash her hands in the sink (dislikes), wipe her face off (dislikes extremely), and turn her loose. In the end, I’m totally frazzled and exhausted; I survey the destruction and begin the clean up.

Excuse me while I go clean applesauce off the walls

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

The Pentapus will guide you.

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Ronin drives the radio flyer.

Hans and I were eating burgers at The Kennedy School last week and Ronin discovered a delicacy. She would eat bits of my bun and Hans’ fries but refused my tator tots (huh?). Of course, my tater tots were served with ranch dressing but I prefer ketchup. I already know that Ronin doesn’t really like ketchup though so I gave the ranch a try instead. She went nuts and kept jumping up and down screaming “Nana.” After banana, her word for any food she likes. I’m not sure what she calls food which she doesn’t like but she makes herself understood by shaking her head vigorously and trying to smack it out of your hand. She ended up eating the entire ramekin of ranch dressing, minus what she rubbed into her hair of course. Our plan is to trick her into eating veggies by covering them in the stuff. Our first attempt wasn’t entirely successful because she simply licked the dressing off and threw the veggies on the floor.

The other new food breakthrough is soyrizo. She was happily eating applesauce this morning when we started cooking soyrizo and eggs for breakfast burritos. Ronin immediately threw her spoon on the floor and started yelling Nana. I gave her an actual banana but that went on the floor as well. I was ready to give up on breakfast but we decided to try her on the soyrizo anyway. That’s what she wanted! and she ended up eating handfuls of the stuff.

Trai Au

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

Trai Au Bull Head

I found these in the produce section of Fubonn and had to have them. Of course, I had no idea what they were or what to do with them, but I trust in the powers of the world wide internet to see me through. At only $1.48/lb they’re a bargain even if they just end up as part of my voodoo death necklace. The label identifies them as “Bull Head / Trai Au.”

Trai Au Bull Head Fubonn supermarket produce label

Clearly a Vietnamese name but google wasn’t all that helpful. We see two results in English and several in Vietnamese. I can’t read the latter and none of them look like recipes anyway so I concentrated on the former. One blogger also found them at Fubonn and didn’t have many hard facts to offer. The other found them at a market in Vietnam. He claims that the market lady told him that they were Trai Au and explained that they were Lotus Roots. Obviously he misunderstood. I know a lotus root when I see it and these things aren’t the least bit root like. I think they are thorns because they resemble the ant infested thorn bushes we fought our way through while hiking on Isla Providencia.

Cheyenne and I have prowled the markets of Vietnam ourselves and don’t recall having seen anything like it. Either they were out of season or they aren’t too common. Of course, we could have missed them while we were distracted by the live scorpions or the imitation cockroach extract (I kid you not, it’s called Ca Cuong).

Trai Au Bull Head cracked open

They turn out to be pretty hard to get open. Forget about doing it by hand because of those spiky ends. A hammer works well but it doesn’t seem possible to remove the meat in one piece. I hit them until they break open then pry the insides out with a knife.

They are bland and mostly tasteless but very slightly bitter with the texture of mature coconut meat. I still don’t know what to do with them. It doesn’t seem worth the effort to eat them as nuts and I can’t imagine cooking with them either.

Squash Pie

Sunday, November 25th, 2007

Celedon Squash

Larry made a couple of delicious pies from this beautiful squash.


Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

Dirty Boletus aereus

Washington County, Oregon (800×600)

Hans and I stumbled across these at twilight and ended up crawling through the brush in the dark digging them up by flashlight. We’re calling them Boletus aereus (Queen Bolete) even though we discovered them in a thicket of fir trees. Otherwise, it could be some mutant form of Boletus edulis with whitish bloom on the cap. Or it could be an as yet unnamed species. We can tell you they are very yummy and skirt the whole issue by calling them porcini or cep. Common names just don’t require the same precision.

Boletus aereus drying

The pilot light alone provides just enough heat and air circulation to dry mushrooms perfectly and fill the house with the earthy smell of porcini.

Cheyenne and I went back this morning to make sure we didn’t miss any. There were a few, but Hans and I had done pretty well on the first pass.

Amanita muscaria

An easy one for the fungal taxonomist (Amanita muscaria).

Cheyenne Weil, Joshua Coxwell